Bartow Golf Course Continues After 100 years
One of Florida's Top Public Golf Courses and A Florida Historic Golf Trail Club
By Dave Daubert
Tucked within the city limits of Bartow in Polk County, Florida, just 38 miles east of Tampa, sits a sporty but challenging golf course that is proud to be part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Bartow Golf Course, a links-style design built in the 1920s, has remained true to its original mission of providing quality affordable golf and excellent food offerings to residents and visitors. Today, this well-maintained jewel of a course offers an enjoyable golf experience for players of all ability levels.
The Par 72 course, thought to be designed in part by Donald Ross, features four sets of tees ranging from 5200 yards to 6600 yards with no homes to interfere with the natural vistas. Known to area golfers as the "TOW," the layout blends naturally with stands of oaks and multiple water hazards and also is a peaceful haven for a variety of wildlife. The small elevated greens have been preserved in keeping with the course's original traditional style.
As part of an ongoing upgrade program to attract more golfers, Bartow recently installed a new irrigation system that covers the footprint of the course. Four new forward tees on holes 3, 8, 13, and 18 also were added and new sand was replaced in all the bunkers.
According to the long-time head golf pro, Chris Banks, "Bartow Golf Course provides a great experience to all men, women & youth golfers. It also proudly hosts many local charitable events in Polk County."
In 1925, Bartow hosted an exhibition match that featured Cyril Walker, the 1924 U.S. Open champion who defeated Bobby Jones at Michigan's Oakland Hills Country Club. The course has been home to the Youth Villa Classic for the past 59 years, an event that helps raise money for the Sherriff Youth Ranch in Bartow.
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Revised: 04/20/2022 - Article Viewed 845 Times
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About: Dave Daubert
David has been writing about golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years, published in Canada, the IAGTO and a Staff Writer for The Georgia Golf Trail. His insightful perspective brings golf to life.